Hollywood’s calling but model Polly still misses Barnoldswick

Craven Herald: Model Polly Furnival, who stars in the film Rush Model Polly Furnival, who stars in the film Rush

Polly Furnival has made the transition from West Craven to Hollywood with ease.

The 26-year-old from Barnoldswick has already enjoyed considerable success as a model but is now making waves on the silver screen.

Polly made the move Stateside after landing a role in the new film Rush, directed by Ron Howard - the Happy Days star who directed films such as A Beautiful Mind, The Da Vinci Code and Apollo 13.

She plays a character called Margaret in the film which is set in the 1970s and based around the rivalry between Formula 1 drivers James Hunt and Niki Lauda. It stars Thor actor Chris Hemsworth and Olivia Wilde from the TV series House.

Polly’s whirlwind modelling career - which has seen her work with brands including Virgin, Dior, Lynx, Lancôme and Häagen-Dazs - began as a 15-year-old when she was spotted by a scout from Manchester agency Industry People.

Despite living a mere 10-minute drive from the beach in Los Angeles, the former Gisburn Road Primary School and St John Fisher and Thomas More RC High School pupil still misses Barnoldswick.

She said: “I took for granted the amount of freedom a child has growing up in the countryside.

“We had lots of friends on our street and would all play out until it was dark or the girls would get together and put on shows for our parents.

“I miss the picturesque views from my mum’s house, you couldn't see another house from the back garden, just beautiful rolling hills for miles. You don’t get that in the city.”

Polly wanted to be a dancer when she was growing up but could not get a scholarship as her left hip was slightly higher than her right so she studied theatre and performing arts at Nelson and Colne College and Accrington and Rossendale College.

She has worked with stars including Elle Macpherson, Kelly Brook and Andrew Lloyd Webber.

She said there’s still a lot of things she wants to do in her career, and added: “I’m having acting classes here in LA and been busy auditioning for various things.

“I would like to say at the end of my career that I had achieved everything I set out to do. I don’t want to wish I had done something differently. At the moment I’m right on track.”

Despite her job taking her around the globe to places such as Athens, Paris and London, where she met her husband Dan, she still loves coming home to Barnoldswick.

She said: “We try to get back a few days each year, it’s so great to reminisce about our childhood antics and to see all my old friends from school. We are still very close and it always feels like I have never left.”

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